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Two Northwest Projects Among 2014 AIA COTE Top 10

12 May 2014 | Posted By Jeff Cole 1,162 views No Comment

Once again, Pacific Northwest buildings are among the top 10 green projects, nationally, that have been recognized by the American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment (AIA COTE) as premier examples of architectural solutions that protect and enhance the environment. AIA COTE selection criteria include design and innovation, integration with community, land use and effect on site ecology, bioclimatic design, energy and water use, approach to light and air, materials and construction, long-life considerations, and feedback loops.

Of course, BetterBricks is most interested in the ways that the design teams for these projects were able to deliver buildings with significantly improved energy performance. In the case of the two Pacific Northwest projects, both coincidentally located in Portland, energy use is, in one case, 50% lower than comparable buildings and in the other case, a reduction of 60% from the existing building performance.

Photo credit: Sally Schoolmaster / Courtesy of Holst Architecture

Bud Clark Commons is a 106,000 square foot LEED Platinum project providing transitional services to Portland’s homeless population, including: a walk-in day center with public courtyard and access to services; a 90 bed temporary shelter; and a separate secure entrance to 130 efficient, furnished studio apartments for homeless men or women seeking permanent housing with support services. Completed June 2011, for client Home Forward (formerly the Housing Authority of Portland), the facility was designed by Holst Architecture, with PAE Consulting Engineers, Inc. as the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineer.

Featuring an excellent building envelope, a reduced lighting power density of 0.63 watts/sf, heat recovery for the residential units, Energy Star appliances, low flow plumbing fixtures, and one of the largest solar domestic hot water systems installed in the region, the project has an energy use index (EUI) of 80 kBTU/sf-yr (76 kBTU/sf-yr net), a 51% reduction in energy use for a mixed use building of this type.

Photo credit: SERA

The Edith Green–Wendell Wyatt Federal Building Modernization project, began with an existing 18 story 512,474 sf office tower completed in 1974, stripped it down to its foundation and frame, and reconstructed a modern office building with all systems upgraded to meet the energy and water conservation requirements of the Energy Independence & Security Act (EISA). Along the way, the project earned LEED Platinum Certification for building owner, the General Services Administration. An integrated design process and the resulting project scope, helmed by SERA Architects Inc., with Cutler Anderson Architects, mechanical engineering by Stantec, and electrical engineering by PAE Consulting Engineers, has delivered impressive building performance, with an EUI of 30-35 kBTU/sf-yr. This is a 60% reduction compared to the original building, 55% less than Target Finder, and 39% energy cost savings and 46% energy use savings compared to an ASHRAE 90.1-2007 modeled building. (A 180 kW photovoltaic array reduces the net EUI to 29 kBTU/sf-yr.) These savings have been achieved, partially through: innovative solar shading, tuned by façade, to reduce solar gain; a radiant ceiling heating and cooling system with a 100% dedicated outside air ventilation system with excellent filtration, and a lighting power density of 0.60 w/sf. BetterBricks is proud to have been involved in this project through our support of the Energy Studies in Buildings Laboratory of the University of Oregon.

Photo credit: Nic Lehoux

These two projects are only the latest among 20 projects in the Pacific Northwest that have been designed and built by the region’s AEC industry, 11% of the 180 projects that have been honored since the award program began in 1997. The full list of regional projects is available in Table 1. Detailed information about this year’s and all previous winners can be accessed at http://www.aiatopten.org.


Year Firm(s) Project Name Project Location
1999 Mithun Partners, Inc. REI Seattle Flagship Store Seattle, WA
2000 The Miller|Hull Partnership Bainbridge Island City Hall Bainbridge Island, WA
2002 Tom Bender Architect SERA Archtects Bank of Astoria Manzanita, OR
Mithun Puget Sound Environmental Learning Center Bainbridge Island, WA
2003 The Miller|Hull Partnership, LLP The Fisher Pavilion Seattle, WA
2004 The Miller|Hull Partnership Pierce County Environmental Services University Place, WA
2005 Mithun Architects+Designers+Partners Lloyd Crossing Sustainable Design Plan Portland, OR
Mahlum Architects Seminar II, The Evergreen State College Olympia, WA
2006 Bohlin Cywinski Jackson Ballard Library and Neighborhood Center Seattle, WA
Mahlum Architects Ben Franklin Elementary School Kirkland, WA
2007 DLR Group Morphosis Wayne L. Morse US Courthouse Eugene, OR
2008 The Miller|Hull Partnership, LLP Discovery Center at South Lake Union Seattle, WA
2010 ZGF Architects LLP Twelve West Portland, OR
2011 The Miller|Hull Partnership LOTT Clean Water Alliance Olympia, WA
2012 THA Architecture Mercy Corps Portland, OR
OPSIS Architecture Music and Science Building Hood River, OR
Hennebery Eddy Architects, Inc. Portland Community College Newberg Center Newberg, OR
2013 ZGF Architects LLP Federal Center South Building 1202 Seattle, WA
2014 Holst Archtecture Bud Clark Commons Portland, OR
SERA Architects Inc. Cutler Anderson Archtects Edith Green Wendell Wyatt Federal Building Modernization Portland, OR
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